FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
May 17, 1999; 0:15AM EDT - DAY 55
Washington 1. Flying Coffins? Apache Helicopters on Hold;
Gen. Clark Impatient to Kill More Troops
New York 2. "Albright at War: Madeleine's War" (Time Magazine);
Regime Change at Home Also Needed (Her Mentor)
Douglas 3. "Mexico's Kosovo:" Illegal Immigrants Flood Arizona
Phoenix 4. Popova's Historical Essay Criticized by Some
1. Flying Coffins? Apache Helicopters on Hold; Gen. Clark Impatient to Kill More Troops
BRUSSELS, May 16 - NATO leaflets dropped into Kosovo warn Serbian troops, "Don't Wait For Me," showing a picture of an Apache helicopter swooping down on a tank. As it turns out, it could be a long wait. For, the Pentagon brass, fearing the Apaches may end up as flying coffins, are getting cold feet about using them against the tough Serb air defenses.
In a behind-the-scenes struggle over military strategy and tactics, the Pentagon is blocking a plan by the NATO commander, Gen. Wesley Kanne Clark, to send Apache helicopters into combat against Serbian troops, the New York Times reported today (May 16). So Clark's impatience to waste American lives, not just those of Serb civilians, is yet another proof that he deserves a front row seat at an upcoming war crimes trial.
Seeking to increase NATO's firepower, Clark has pressed the Pentagon to authorize "live fire" tests by shooting at targets in Kosovo. But he still has not received permission to do so, as Pentagon has balked, fearing that the mission is too risky. Two of the helicopters have already crashed during training missions, killing two pilots.
The dispute adds a new strain to the alliance's seven-week-old air campaign. "The issue is that Clark is being aggressive, and there is some resistance to doing what he wants to do," a senior American official told the New York Times.
It took weeks for Washington to agree to General Clark's request to deploy the Apaches. Then it took weeks more to lug the men and supplies for the helicopters and the Army units that accompanied them to Albania. Further, Washington only agreed to send the Apaches and rockets on the condition that they not be used in combat without the formal approval of President Clinton. That approval, which Apache commanders expected by early May, has yet to take place, largely because top Pentagon officials have refused to recommend such a step to the White House, fearing the possible domestic and international consequences if the missions fail.
The Apache squadron is commanded by Brig. Gen. Richard A. Cody, one of the Army's most respected helicopter officers, whose Apaches blasted two clusters of Iraqi early-warning radars during the Gulf War, firing Hellfire missiles and 30-millimeter guns.
But the mission in Kosovo is far more complex and dangerous, the New York Times warns. Serbian troops are armed with SA-7 shoulder-fired missiles, antiaircraft artillery, and SAM surface-to-air missiles - all of which pose a major threat to helicopters.
Pentagon's fears seem to have merit. General Tus (a Croat), who was also a general in the former Yugoslavia's Army (JNA), was interviewed the other day on Croatian TV. A lady reporter asked him what he thought would happen when the Apaches are deployed against the Serb forced in Kosovo.
The real question isn't what would happen, General Tus replied, but how many of the 24 Apaches would return to base.
General's answer evidently stunned the reporter, who stuttered as she prompted him to answer his own question.
"Well, not more than two," the general replied.
By now, the reporter, totally thrown off balance, proceeded to recite the high costs and the technological advancements which are supposedly built into the Apaches.
This seemed to anger the general, who snapped back: "On second thought, I don't believe that even those two would return to base."
The Pentagon brass expressed similar fears. "The Army's concern is that this is a very dangerous mission," a Pentagon official told the New York Times. "The avenues into Kosovo are limited, and the opportunity for shoulder-held weapons is very real. We have to really have all our act together. No one thinks the mission can't be done, but in an age when the American people believe we're in a zero-defects war, there's real apprehension we're going to bring soldiers back in body bags."
TiM Ed.: And yet, here's NATO's Murderer-in-Chief, Gen. Clark, evidently anxious to stuff more body bags with American troops. To which we say: "What's your hurry, Gen. Clark? Are your modern body bags susceptible to Y2K expiry? Or did some supply clerk ask you to reduce the inventory?"
For more on the New York Times story, see: http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/europe/051699kosovo-apaches.html
2. "Albright at War: Madeleine's War" (Time Magazine); Regime Change at Home Also Needed (Her Mentor)
NEW YORK, May 17 - Madeleine Albright is the cover girl in today's issue of the Time magazine. "Albright at War," reads the headline of a feature story titled "Madeleine's War" on the inside pages. Anyone still recall what the "MacNamara's war" and how it ended?
(Vietnam; Robert MacNamara was President Lyndon Johnson's secretary of defense; he was rewarded with chairmanship of the World Bank for his government "service;" nearly three decades and 60,000 lost American lives later, in his 1996 book, MacNamara lamented that he should have spoken up sooner against the Vietnam war).
Meanwhile, NATO's attack on Yugoslavia is really "Madeleine's war," as the Times says, you would think that Gen. Wesley Clark might be a little jealous. Not so. Not only is Clark verbally supportive of Albright's hawkishness, but a Time photo shows him looking at her adoringly during Wednesday's (May 6) meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
So add the "halfbright" epithet to the collection of unflattering attributes which these two war "hawks" share. Although the Times article, written by Walter Isaacson, who accompanied Albright on her recent trip to Europe (wonder why he was picked?), is largely complimentary of her, it does end with a few negative quotes, guess so as to create an illusion of objectivity.
TiM Ed.: That was the line which had earned Albright the "Halfbright" epithet from TiM, several years ago. For, her answer was about as bright as that of a criminal saying, "what's the point of having this superb gun if you don't use it to kill people?" (see "The Three Musketeers," a Washington Times column, Mar. 1, 1998).
The Times also noted that the most scathing recent criticism came from Peter Krogh, Albright's "close friend and mentor when he was dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service during her tenure there."
Krogh wrote two weeks ago in a Wall Street Journal OpEd piece, "I cannot recall a time when our foreign policy was in less competent hands. The bombing of Iraq has only entrenched Saddam Hussein's power. The bombing of Serbia has likewise entrenched Milosevic and contributed to a refugee debacle. To make matters worse, these involvements have come at the expense of America's primary strategic interests: integrating Russia and China into the international system."
Actually, Krogh said a lot more than that, both to this writer during a private dinner meeting in Washington, in January 1995, and in his Journal piece. Since the former was a private meeting, its content shall remain so, too. But here are some other things Krogh wrote in his Journal piece which the Time chose to ignore. Lest it were to tip the overall positive spin which its Albright cover story was supposed to have?
TiM Ed.: Peter Krogh had been Dean of the prestigious School of Foreign Service at the Georgetown University for 25 years, before retiring from that post in July 1995.
3. "Mexico's Kosovo:" Illegal Immigrants Flood Arizona
DOUGLAS, May 14 - In the Mar. 6, 1998 TiM editorial, "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II' and Serbia's Aztlan," we warned of similarities between the situation in Kosovo and that in the American Southwest, which the Mexicans call Aztlan. After the recent stampedes across the Arizona-Mexico border, our 1998 prediction is becoming a reality.
"Mexico's Kosovo," read a bold-faced headline in a May 14 front page story in the Arizona Republic. The headline was actually a quote attributed to Vecente Teran, mayor of Agua Prieta, a Mexican town within a short walk across the border from Douglas, Arizona. Teran's town has become a transit point for illegal immigrants planning to enter the U.S. The number of strangers (would-be illegal U.S. immigrants) wondering daily around downtown has grown to about 3,000, the Arizona Republic reported.
But what really drove home the point that illegal immigration is a breeding ground for crime infestation was Teran's statement that these people are the "waiting in line to get in the cemetery." In just one week last month, there were 27 homicides as the "coyotes" (immigrant smugglers) battled other "coyotes" in a turf war over human bounty, Teran to the Republic.
Bill Strassberger, spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, estimated that about 400,000 illegal immigrants crossed into Arizona from Mexico last year - four times the number in 1993, when Bill Clinton became president. The reason that's significant is that Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and other Democratic Party officials have been courting the immigrant vote, supporting them in various rallies throughout the American Southwest.
Yet a large influx of illegal immigrants had also preceded the demographic war which the Kosovo Albanian minority waged on the indigenous Serb population of Kosovo. Until the Albanians eventually became a majority, after WW II. Which led to the latest ethnic strife, and ultimately the current war in that part of the world.
Could something like that happen in the American Southwest? You bet. Here's an excerpt from our March 1998 editorial:
4. Popova's Historical Essay Criticized by Some Russian-Americans
PHOENIX, May 17 - Following our publication of an essay by a Russian area expert who wrote under the pseudonym, Tatiana Popova (see S99-73, Day 49, Update 1, Item 3, May 11), we received three letters which protested the article's conclusion. Which was:
The three objecting letters had at least four things in common: (1) They were written by people who are NOT on the TiM list; (2) All three were evidently Russian-American descendants of the Russian émigrés, judging by the correspondents' names; (3) All three were long on (pro-czarist) emotion, and short on alternative facts; (4) Some were VERY LONG diatribes, one even much longer than the original piece.
Nevertheless, in the interest of providing the TiM readers the full truth even in an area which is not our primary focus (19th century history), we've done some additional research during the last several days, having solicited input from some TiM contacts in the world of academia - experts in the area of Russian history.
The upshot of this additional research was that Ms. Popova's critics were correct to the extent the original essay did not take into account some other historical events, which cast the Russian czarist governments of the 19th century in a more favorable, pro-Serb light. And that, therefore, a more appropriate summary would have been to have taken out the word "consistently" from the above conclusion.
Which is exactly the way Prof. David MacKenzie put it in a quote which Ms. Popova did use in her essay: "Historically, Russia has generally placed its own interest as a great power ahead of Serbian ones." (from "Serbia and Russia," East European Monographs, Boulder. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).
So "generally" versus "consistently" is the extent of Ms. Popova's historical inaccuracy, as best as we can determine. Another brief and reasonably objective view of Russia's involvement (not mentioned in Ms. Popova's piece), according to our additional research, is the late Barbara Jelavich's Russia's Balkan Entanglements 1806-1914 (1991).
Yet, another professor of Russian history at a prestigious American university concurred with Ms. Popova that, "Russia ALWAYS had to subordinate its Balkan policy to Great Power considerations. And to balance Serbian interests with those of the other Balkan Orthodox Christians. And even with the Turks, who weren't about to disappear if the Austrians and British had any sway in the region" (the emphasis on "always" added by TiM).
And now, here is a selection from some critical comments by the three Russian-American correspondents, along with additional information which we have gleaned during our research this week:
In a critique titled, "The Truth about Russian Serbophilia: A Tsar united with his people," George Selinsky, writes among other things:
TiM Ed.: With all due respect to this correspondent evidently great love of the Russian Czars and of the Serbian people, the preceding is an example of emotions clouding the facts, and therefore, the truth.
First, Ms. Popova quite clearly pointed out the distinction between the "Russian PEOPLE (who) have traditionally shown great support and empathy for the plight of the Serbs during times of war," and the actions of Russian GOVERNMENTS in the past. Thus the above assertion about her encouraging "hostility between Russiand and Serbs," suggests that Mr. Selinsky isn't a careful reader.
Second, just because Mr. Selinsky has not heard of Prof. MacKenzie (nor has evidently read the book at which he is casting stones), doesn't make this professor less credible. On the contrary, it shows up this TiM correspondent as less well informed than was Ms. Popova.
For the benefit of Mr. Selinsky and all other TiM readers, let us point out that Prof. MacKenzie received his A.B in 1951 from the University of Rochester; his M.A. in history from the Columbia University in 1953, along with the certificate of Russian Institute; and obtained his Ph.D. in Russian history also at Columbia in 1962. He has been an assistant professor of history and Russian language at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1953-1958); her lectured history at Princeton University (1959-1961); has taught history at the Wells College and as visiting professor at Cornell University (1961-1968); and has been professor of history the University of North Carolina since 1969.
In other words, his academic credentials are impeccable. Casting stones at Prof. MacKenzie's analyses and conclusion can only hurt the case of his critics.
Continuing with some of Mr. Selinsky's comments...
TiM Ed.: We agree with that, as we've said before.
"In 1807 Russia signed a truce with the Turks, leaving the Serbs feeling betrayed," Mr. Selinsky quotes from Ms. Popova's essay. And then he adds:
TiM Ed.: For some of Mr. Selinsky's valid criticisms, this where our correspondent falls on his sword for the final time. Having CORRECTLY labeled the Serb poet Zmaj a Russophile, Mr. Selinsky asserts that this poem was, in fact, a veiled criticism of Austria. Which is nonsense. For, it proves that he evidently never read the poem. Had Mr. Selinsky done so, he would have realized that there was a reason the TiM edition of the poem ended with "salvation..." Meaning, that was not its actual end, as the three dots implied. For, Zmaj's next line read: "...Furthermore Asakov will explain!"
Asakov was one of the leading Russian Panslavists. In his defense of the Serbs, Asakov openly denounced the settlement at the Congress of Berlin during his speech to Moscow's Slavic Benevolent Committee in June 1878. Which is why Zmaj deferred to him for an explanation of why the Russian government sold out the Serbs at the Berlin Congress.
History buffs can find the poem "Panslavism and National Identity in Russia and the Balkans 1830-1880, Images of Self and Others", by Jelena Milojkovic-Djuric, published by East European Monographs, Boulder, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
As for TiM, this IS our last word on this subject. The best way for Mr. Selinsky and others like him to prove their personal friendship and love of the Serbs is to help prevent the 19th century history from repeating itself - NOW! And the best way to do that is to try to get the Russian GOVERNMENT of the day to support the Serbs with more than just words.
The Russian people, by contrast, including the thousands of volunteers, have already said their piece - loudly and clearly. Just as the Russian people and the Panslavists of the 19th century did. And just as MILLIONS OF NON-SLAVIC PATRIOTS around the world are doing.
What is happening in Serbia today is not just a "Slavic" event. It is a criminal assault by NATO on HUMANITY and SOVEREIGNTY. Which is why volunteers from New York, to Texas, to California, to China, to Russia, to Sweden, to Germany... are willing to do their part in standing up to global tyranny. We've invited Mr. Selinsky and his pro-czarist friends to join us. The Homo Sapiens. The lovers of truth and freedom. Period.
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"